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Old 05-29-2001, 08:56 PM   #76
Jothaxe
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<< My girlfriend is getting an arranged Marriage - what should I do? >>



I am sorry you are forced to deal with such a sticky situation. It sounds like the difficult thing here is the fact that her parents' social standing is reflected in your girlfriends decision to accept the arranged marriage or not.

I have no problem with tradition per se, but I see an issue when traditions preclude other important social values, like liberty, privacy, pursuit or happiness etc.

I feel like I have dealt with a situation very similar to the one your girlfriend is in, and my case my decision was to ignore my parents beliefs and traditions, and instead live my life the best I know how, rather than living it the way they would choose. My decisions and actions have probably embarrassed my parents in front of their friends/relatives, but I felt that I coudnt live my life to make them happy. Similar to your girlfriends circumstances, the issue was heavily related to religion.

Of course a large issue here is age and maturity. By making this decision I also chose to take complete responsibility for myself financially, which would not have been possible for me when I was younger. If your girlfriends parents support her financially then maybe she has less say in her life at this point. Personally I have not regretted my decision, and I would choose the same if I had to make it over.

I suppose my point is, that your girlfriend should consider more than her parents wishes in deciding whether she should accept the arranged marriage. Although this may sound selfish, if she is a mature adult (you said she is 21) she needs to start making decisions that will help her make the most out of her life, not just the most out of her parents lives, since she is the one who will ultimately suffer the consequences of the decisions. I guess I just value my independence way too much to simply give it up in such a serious situation as you describe.

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Old 05-29-2001, 08:57 PM   #77
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OK I'm tired and not going to read all the replies, but my suggestion is to inform the parents that they are in America now and that arranged marriages are a violation of her Freedom(which I imagine is one reason the family moved here)

In you shoes I'd tell her that if she loves me that she should stay with me. screw what the family says.
Sure family's important, but if they are going to force something like that upon their Daughter it shows that they don't care about her happiness.
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Old 05-29-2001, 09:07 PM   #78
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first I would like to say that this a nice example that love can cross religious bounds...

but the thing that most of us forgets, is that there is much more to sincere and stable marriage that will in turn produce a stable family and good environment for your offspring than personal satisfaction, physical traits or shallowness.

when you marry a person, by definition of a marriage you are responsible to your partners well being and happiness as much as you are responsible for providing a good environment for your kids, all too often we might see someone that would satisfy ourselves, and we are soon to become selfish favoring our personal satisfaction over choosing a person that you can count on to be there for you and help you raise a stable family and provide a good environment for your kids.

again, marriages and relationships are not only about YOUR personal satisfaction, they are a balance between yours and your partner satisfaction, family stability and your obligation to your offspring.

if you think the two of you can make for a stable marriage, I would say be patient, don't lose hope, be there for her, get to know her parents, let both your families get to know each other, and hopefully something good will come out of this.

if you think this have more to do with the two of you only personally satisfying each other, then there is more for you to think about. like what would you do if that personal satisfactions goes away in a few years? are you gona be there for her? is she gona be there for you?

think of it more rationally, and think long term.
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Old 05-29-2001, 09:08 PM   #79
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<< OK I'm tired and not going to read all the replies, but my suggestion is to inform the parents that they are in America now and that arranged marriages are a violation of her Freedom(which I imagine is one reason the family moved here) >>



Technically speaking, it's not a forced arranged marriage. More of a &quot;persuaded&quot; marriage. So put away your ACLU manual, no-one's civil rights are being violated here.
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Old 05-29-2001, 09:41 PM   #80
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<< , but my suggestion is to inform the parents that they are in America now and that arranged marriages are a violation of her Freedom(which I imagine is one reason the family moved here)

.
>>




First of all, there is no violation of any civil rights. She isn't being forced into it, tied to a pole if she won't kind of a thing. She is accepting willingly (if not happily). If this was made into a court case, I am sure the courst cannot say anything, because the girl is 21 years old and has made her own decision to listen to her parents.

Secondly only the ones who are refugees come to USA for freedom. The rest come for oppurtunity.
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Old 05-29-2001, 09:56 PM   #81
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Pulpp -
All of your advice is sound. I think the whole thing would be easier if either she or myself was immature enough to be sure that the long term would break us.

For her, the reality is that she wants to do as little harm as possible, and unfortunately, she is right in believing that I will heal easier than her mother. Thus my angst toward her mother.
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:04 PM   #82
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knoahbear


That sucks. I understand your situation, but you are flat out getting screwed. Personally, my anger would be more reflected at the girl because she put me in this situtation. She had to know it was going to come to this, her parents probably talk about it a lot. Did she seriously think about what she would do when this happened before she started dating? I do have to commend you for being so adult about it, I am not sure I would be
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:16 PM   #83
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<< I have always wanted to have a Pakistani girl myself. >>

It seems like any girl, jeez man take a cold shower already
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:30 PM   #84
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As it stands, there are so many things about our lives - our daily patterns rely on each other - that I can't see doing any thing drastic. I guess I'm working to be the best man I can be... and just living on hope. I think it's better to regret something you do than something you don't do... even if it means pain. And sticking with her is the &quot;doing&quot; where quitting is the &quot;not doing&quot; as I see it. Even if hope doesn't prevail, I will heal and I can't see burning a bridge just because I'm afraid of what's on the other side. Call me a romantic, maybe a bit crazy. But I think we all need to be crazy sometimes.

You have all been thoughtful and very supportive!

GREATLY appreciated advice everyone!
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:31 PM   #85
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Damn, just another way in which religions sucks (no, dont bother flaming me, it won't do ya any good.)


Anyway, if you love her so much, and if she feels the same way about you, can't you just forget religion and get married?

I mean, think about it. Is she willing to live (and I am guessing serve to a certain degree) with some guy she doesn't know for the rest of her life, instead of spending her life with someone she loves? And for what? Just so her parents will look good in front of their friends, or more than likely their religios gathering. Surely they can't put thier self-image in front of a small group of people ahead of their daughter's happyness!! Or perhaps they can. Religion does make soem peopel act weird...


To sum it up: Fsck religion, get married, live a long and happy life togerther.
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:35 PM   #86
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Pryo: They said it's not religion...

I still think, parents vs husband/wife is an easy choice to the latter....after the time you're about 18 or so, your parents influence on your life should be dropping off sharply and a possible &quot;mate&quot; (forgive the crude term) should take precedence.

though obviously she disagrees.
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Old 05-29-2001, 10:40 PM   #87
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elope. hide. disappear with her. if you both love one another, then
you are going to need to resort to drastic measures to counteract her
family's strong, and possibly violent, disapproval. her family may
be a batch of fanatics who abide by primitive honor codes. i've read
of cases in britian, where this problem is prevalent among paki and
brit intermingling, where muslim families sought to kill their child
as a means of righting the dishonor. are you willing and able to do
so ?


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Old 05-29-2001, 11:03 PM   #88
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Do tell me one thing. You said that her parents liked you and everything, so do they know you are her boy friend? If she was gonna have an arranged marriage, why did they let her date in the first place?
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Old 05-29-2001, 11:12 PM   #89
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<< Do tell me one thing. You said that her parents liked you and everything, so do they know you are her boy friend? If she was gonna have an arranged marriage, why did they let her date in the first place? >>



That is another thing that is bugging me about this setup.
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Old 05-29-2001, 11:44 PM   #90
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<< Anyway, if you love her so much, and if she feels the same way about you, can't you just forget religion and get married? >>



Obviously, you've been asleep during this thread. It's not so much about religion, more about culture and traditions. In this situation, religion is just being used as a crutch to justify their strong cultural tendencies to follow tradition.



<< after the time you're about 18 or so, your parents influence on your life should be dropping off sharply and a possible &quot;mate&quot; (forgive the crude term) should take precedence.

though obviously she disagrees.
>>



Many south-east asians would disagree as well. They're similar to Italians in that you don't &quot;dump the family&quot; as soon as you get married. It is tradition to maintain strong bonds with all family members and bring in the outsiders (i.e. the new in-laws) into the family. This tradition tends to stick (even among latter generations - it's a hard one for most people to break, I can understand how knoah's GF feels). In fact the only time it isn't followed is in a situation where someone goes against the will of the parents and marries someone from outside their cultural/ethnic vacuum, thereby leaving the family.

knoahbear,

It's hard for someone to give you advice on something like this, because there is very little you can do about it. The ball is not in your court. Suffice to say, if her parents by some stroke of luck change their minds, you can jump in. Otherwise all you can do is either enjoy the remaining time you have with her or submit yourself to the inevitable and terminate the relationship now.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2001, 11:53 PM   #91
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i'm assuming her parents don't know about you, in which case i say try to work things out, get introduced to them, try to convey to them that you two are in love...if they reject the idea...elope....

when it comes down to it if the parents don't agree with you two (which most likely they won't), she'll basically have to choose between either you or her parents...if she chooses you, elope...if she chooses her parents..oh well...let her go....like two sides of a coin, it can only land on one side and not both...her choice...

good luck..
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Old 05-30-2001, 12:08 AM   #92
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well, I didn't read most of the replies, true. But let's drop religion from this.

Does anyone else think that her parents might be a little selfish. I mean, the way I see it, its their image versus her happiness.
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Old 05-30-2001, 01:46 AM   #93
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I don't think it's so much their image but more about their sense of what is right and what is wrong. Now I'm not saying this because I know who knoahbear is dealing with, but because I know plenty of SE asian adults. A few who have children who married people from outside their ethnicity genuinely feel that they have failed in one of their duties as parents. Although they don't shun the outsider or attempt to ostracize their child, the feeling is there. I guess they aren't as extremist as the ones knoah has to deal with.

Although one point that I will agree with you on, is that you can't expect to maintain your old ideals of what is culturally right, when you move from an older culture to a newer, more diverse culture, where it is a given that their children will interact (and fall in love with) people from varying backgrounds. They should be a little more open to these possibilities.

Having said that, I have to admit to being involved in an inter-racial relationship about 3 years ago. Looking back I am actually glad I was able to end it for &quot;other&quot; reasons, because I don't think our two families would have gotten along well anyways. With these sort of relationships it helps if there are common variables between the families involved. I've seen inter-racial marriages work because both families are of the same religion (i.e. Baptist). But if there is no common variable I'd have to say it's up to chance really.
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Old 05-30-2001, 04:07 AM   #94
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time for two cents from t

i once fell in love with a girl i could not marry. the religion she was raised in forbid her from marrying anyone not a member of the church. after a couple of years we were so in love it was crazy, but we kept running into the wall of &quot;this relationship can ultimately go no where&quot;. it sucked wonderfully.

i realize this couldn't fix your prob but, i came up with the &quot;fake her religion&quot; plot. of coarse i would not lie to her about it, just her fam and everyone else. after going through the begining motions of lessons b4 joining i decided that it was not a path i could take. the religion is just absurd to me and i am VERy quick to point out things i think are wrong and love to debate.

i loved her so much i made everyone around me want to puke just by walking in the door...i was spewing love all over the place. and i knew she loved me just as much. i knew she did not have the religious convictions the rest of her family had, but also the pressure from her parents to do what they thought was right worked well on her. we only discussed her religion in so much as how it effected our relationship. i had often taken great pride in getting people to leave their religions and i did not want any religious change of hers to be because of me(it would only hurt us in the end).

couple of years out of h.s. and i was going to move 2000 miles away(we had been going to colleges that were 30 min apart). it came time to &quot;fish or cut bait&quot;. believe me, i milked every drop i could out of our relationship b4 i broke it off. 4 months b4 i was gonna leave all we did was lean up against the wall of inevitable destruction. nothing was enjoyable, because the end was before us. it was horrible, braking up with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.

it was the best thing i ever did. we both cried a lot, and saw next to nothing of each other for a couple of months. as day to day life got easier she poured herself into church and church activites. the time apart gave her an opportunaty to find that even without me around her religion still seemed wrong. without me around as a rationalizing factor for the doubt, she was able to think about what SHE believed and not what she was being told.

she left the church, moved with me, and we were married four and a half years ago.

it was probably the hardest thing she's ever done. i still have the BOX full of angry, hurtfull, and manipulating mail that her mother sent to her. other members of the church were full of pressure, too. most were much nicer than her own parents, but not all. she cared so much about all these people and NONE of them cared about what she had decided was right for her.

eventually, her family chilled out enough that we can all carry on civil conversations, and we go over there every now and again to do stuff. the air is stale, but breathable.

knoahbear, i too have BIG problems with the controlling factor of the parents. i HATE that the fam will not accept your girl for who she is. what kind of love is it that coerces and manipulates its object into a prechosen mold? but the blame is not to the family alone. in the end it is your girls decision. she must, in effect, choose between you and her family. remember, it is not she that would turn her back on her family. if her family chose to cut ties with her it is THEIR actions, not hers.

it is her responabilty to live free, to not let others coerce her into fallowing their wishes, and to remain open and loving to her family as long as they do not abuse that love. only she can make this type of choice. the less you 'help' the better you will be. if she does not choose you, be sad and be greatfull. if she does choose you, be ready for the sh!t to hit the fan and be happy.

so it all comes down to two pieces of 'advice':

if you love someone, set them free. if she comes back, she is yours forever.

but b4 you set them free get as much love out of the relationship as you can, cause it might not be coming back.


good luck. it only gets bumpier from here

t
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Old 05-30-2001, 04:19 AM   #95
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i dont think theres much you can do. Im guessing you should leave now because first of all, you dont really lover her if you dont want to be with her because you could be with someone else.
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Old 05-30-2001, 04:25 AM   #96
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There's pretty much only one way out. That involves giving her family the finger and a big &quot;Fvck You,&quot; &amp; marrying her before the time is up. Ask her now if she's willing to do that, if not say &quot;bye-bye.&quot;

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Old 05-30-2001, 05:20 AM   #97
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Looks like the decision has already been made.
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Old 05-30-2001, 08:45 AM   #98
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Wow - good morning! Just wanted to add special thanks for troglodytis. That's the kind of story I was hoping to hear (not that it's always best to hear what you hope for!). It's inspiring because it fits the very definition of courage. T knew he was beaten going into it and gave his all anyway. If any of you ever read &quot;To Kill a Mocking Bird&quot; by Harper Lee, you may recall what Atticus said about courage. Same thing. And that's what makes it worth it whether we end up together or not.

Ultimately it is her decision only. And all I can do make the most of what we have.

Peace!
Noah
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Old 05-30-2001, 08:54 AM   #99
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It seems that you're almost old enough that if you both think its worth it she can tell her idiotic parents to F**K themselves (sorry, but I hate arranged marriages and no, I won't respect anybody who would &quot;force&quot; it on their children) and you both can get hitched. Its either that or let her parents arrange her to some idiot. Hopefully if you did get hitched you could have her parent's blessing, but you probably couldn't.

It could come down to her picking either you or her stupid parents...its gonna be tough doing anything about this.

I just read Viper's post. I guess I just reiterated what he said but I rambled as well!
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Old 05-30-2001, 09:16 AM   #100
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Either she loves you enough to leave her family or just run buddy... Hate to tell you that but any traditionally rooted family or culture like that won't just let her leave.
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